I have been trading for quite a few years and in good years made about 25%. After joining PSW, I followed closely the PSW strategy and my trading profit for this year is close to 70% to date. For fun, I like to mix in a few "Hail Mary" plays that really worked out well, but overall the simpler Buy/Write strategy, as presented by Phil so often, created the majority of the profit.
Phil – BTW, the new STP/LTP coupled with the income portfolio is Perfect! I do not trade all of them, very few actually since I work during market hours. However, following the trades real-time is very educational.
I did enter the ABX call if you recall, I rolled to July on that nonsense news that sent it tumbling. Out today for 110% gain (2.00 stop) not counting covering the loss from the earlier roll. Nonetheless, a good trade.
Keep it up…. Thanks
Once again, many muchos for the SODA trade of last week. Finally out of all three legs. I didn't want to wait for expiration tomorrow and the possible peg at $70.00, following your dictum to not get greedy.
Phil, i wanted to thank you again for helping me protect future stock allocations at work - finally, i feel like i am owning my own destiny with stocks vs. letting the market dictate what you get – thanks again.
Phil I have been telling you for a while how I feel like I am really understanding you now and thanking you. Well today may have been my most successful futures trading day since I began here and the week has been spectacular! It has just seemed so easy when you give us a range and I execute properly. Thanks once again for teaching me to fish. My portfolio gained over 10% this week which is just amazing.
Phil - I know I am small change compared to most others members, but I just wanted to let you know that during the last two weeks with the shorts you and others suggested I have 6 winners and 5 losers. My losers were small because I tried to follow your guidelines as best I could. On the other hand my winners on average were around 50%. Consequently, I am up $2000 in 14 days. Thank you for your patience and help. I think I am making progress getting rid of some of my poor trading habits of the past!
I read with great interest your statement the other day that the DX is unlikely to break 76 or there will be great hell to pay, torrential amounts of tears shed, and gnashing of dentures all over the world. Well. I have had several short DX contracts in the $78ish range during the last month and upon your two statements 1) don't be greedy, and 2) 76 could be a bottom, I yesterday put a buy GTC order to close my positions at 76 and for some inexplicable reason the DX spiked down after the close and now I can safely say that once again you have confirmed for me that you have been one of the best investment services I have yet to come across. Almost to the point that I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm completely wrong about my political stance as well. Almost. In any event, I wanted you to know that this has been my third execution based on your comments and recommendations that I have followed and this one has also worked to my advantage. My subscription fee has been more than justified for the next year and there's some left over to pay for my stay in Toronto this week, dinner at Joso's in the Yorkville section of town. If I smoked I'd have a Montecristo to salute you. Be well, stay well.
I traded with Phil for approximately three years, and consistently averaged 80% returns yearly... some of which was due to my skills as a trader, but much was a direct result of what I learned as a member of Phil's site.... both from Phil, and the many talented traders that hang out there. Phil... if you are reading along... thanks, again for the approximately $ 3 mil I made tagging along with you.... in order to make you feel good for the work you did... I gave the government 50% of it all, so you made your contribution....
My watch list looks like a grid where Phil's recommendations went UP and everything else went DOWN! It looked something like an ad for Philstockworld. I am half in cash, followed the recommendations (AAPL TASR YHOO) on a 20K portfolio and still up 1% for the day. Thanks!
Phil, those OIH $80 p that you recommended last week for ~$1 are now worth $5.50!
Started my membership in mid-Oct and have since then learned so much about options by reading the site's articles and postings, members' chats and suggested trades – as a bonus, the articles are entertaining as well! Phil's long-term investing strategy makes really good sense as I've seen its effect on my GLW positions.
Phil – thanks for sharing your knowledge of the market! I've worked as risk analyst for the investment dept of a $19B insurance company, and the scope and depth of your daily commentaries blows away what I have seen and heard from the PMs and even the chief investment officer! Most of all, I will continue to be a member because you have your priorities right (from my POV) – it's not all about money and power.
TBT - Many thanks, Phil. I join you in your opinion favoring the Jan expirations. That's a great play. I can never thank you enough for what I have gained educationally as well as monitarily. Here it is late Sunday evening and I am able to get world class advice, just by asking for it. I feel like I am staying in a 5 star hotel, and room service is just a telephone call away!
It is hard to learn the process that Phil teaches, but it is worth the effort. I think it is finally sinking in & so I say Thanks teacher for your patience & expertise! I've had a very good week so far & I know it is because of persisting in this learning process that you teach.
Phil, you are the man. My positions in ABX and CLF are up massively this year, and doing very nicely with USO and UNG. TSR is another winner. Just waiting for the TSLA short now!
Rookie IRA Investor
Phil/ et al- Thanks for the answers to my spread questions last night, as I really needed that little piece of knowledge to crystallize my understanding of spreads. Your help is much appreciated and I have been doing really well for the last couple of months with fewer and fewer missteps as I embrace the PSW ways and watching my portfolios grow.
Thanks super helpful re: UGN example…..other inflation/market-correction-defensive-related play you threw out that has jammed UP in less than a month is TITN 6/14 $15 puts, up 40%. Excuse my enthusiasm but haven't had those types of gains in multiple plays in years let alone days doing it on my own…….maybe I should host the PSW infomercial!!!!
It is amazing how much confidence you engender, Phil………..I knew the 1% a day trades and repeated often were possible as I had done in stretches, and I knew kill zone trades were also possible and 5% to 10% returns per month were very possible with practice, experience and smart risk management all without having to take a lot of risk, but I guess I was talking to the disbelievers and since I have dropped them into my 'why bother to try to explain it' file and come over to the dark side at PSW I feel soooo much more content not only with the returns, but with the company and a comments and the obvious opportunity to learn and learn and learn some more.
It all helps the mental and emotional discipline of the trading too. So thanks again.
Phil - Thanks for the welcoming gift of the POT at a buck
Just paid for this month and my membership is not even 24 hours old!
looking forward to many more - bk
Phil- I am a former portfolio manager and now retired. I have been following you for about six months and I now know why you have so many followers you are very insightful and knowledgeable.
Man, what a week: Bought C at 1.40, sold half at 1.59 (relatively big position), another quarter at 3.04 just now. Ran SKF down from 270 with one April put, still holding some 115's expiring in a couple days. I'm going to gamble this position like a champion Friday. Bought FAS at all sorts of levels and started cashing out. Long HOV, stock and some nickel calls for fun - Mocha up your buy-out from 5 to 8 and that's 10,900% return for the May-2.50's . Ha!
I discovered PSW while reading up on the US economy and how it applies to all the poor folk of the world and to myself as a humble UK desk slave.
This year I put time into learning options trading. I upgraded (with great administrative difficulty!) my stock dealing account to deal options. Now I am an avid reader of PSW and subscribed for voyeur membership. Initially feeling out of my depth struggling to keep up with the peculiar language of options traders, I unsubscribed feeling a little under confident and uncertain if the small stake I have to invest in options could generate enough to justify my PSW subscription. Nevertheless, I've benefited considerably from the member's material. From a small number of initial trades, I've exceeded profit targets enough to consider re-subscribing in some capacity. Thanks for the knowledge and more than anything I appreciate the human angle, the humour and the ecologically sympathetic approach rarely seen in other financial media. Best wishes all - Jon
I am struck by several things over the last few days. First is how level-headed we all are as Greece and China develop. Second is how very helpful it is to see the different trading styles we have, partly because of personal preference and partly because of different stages of development and education. It's very helpful. Well-done, Phil, to have developed this community.
Phil is a master at keeping you laughing, as well as making you money. - It is like " laughing all the way to the bank!"
Hey Phil – I ignored your call to sell those AAPL $580s for $1 so not sure whether to thank you or not (just kidding) for my $5 winner. Actually I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, that was an uncanny call.
I want to thank you for the FREE LL trade. I This was the first spread trade for me and promised to join your service if I made money. I closed the spread last week and will be joining next week when we return home.
The virtuous trade / Phil throws out so many ideas, that understandably he rejects all calls for a running total of how all ""quoted"" ideas are performing – it would be unworkable. But without such a list, I think it behooves us to call out the trades that have made a difference. January 13 expiration is going to be a big month for me as a significant number of sold put positions will expire worthless. One example of the power of patience and leaving well alone:
VLO – sold Jan 13, 17.5 puts for $3.45 – and this trade was placed in August 2011. VLO is currently a tad over $35!
And as time went by, and I got more experienced – with the help of Phil and the contributions from board members, I started selling short term puts and calls around this position. Sometimes having to roll, sometimes doubling down but always knowing what I was getting into, and feeling very calm and focussed that whatever happened I could handle it. And if I couldn't then there was always Phil to lend a helping hand. All in all, my profits since August 2011 would qualify as a tidy addition to any earnings from the day job.
Thank you Sir.
Hey I just did a nice options trade on LL for $800 (50%) gain thanks to this site, so… not bad for my first day! An hour of reading you guys and I already paid for two months subscription! Thank you!
Thanks for the free disaster hedge ideas. I implemented variations of two of them on SDS bull call spreads and EEM bear put spreads (haven't done the TZA yet) and they really hedged my short term longs nicely today. Makes it seem a lot less like gambling.
You are the man (of the people)!
Thanks, after years of blood and blunders, I have reached a significant milestone – I don't lose money. Net net, I rarely have a losing week, market up, market down. And that I owe to you. Balanced positions. More premium sold than bought. Fundamental criteria applied to good companies, not momentum/ news headlines/ stock du jour/ triangle squeezies. But rather earnings, P/E, dividends, competitive position — the boring stuff that takes study, thought,….and patience. You have been a great teacher, and I have embarassed myself repeatedly day with how slowly I learn.
And it's a funny thing – if you don't lose, the gains start to pile up. The arithmetic is cruel to the downside, and becomes a gift in the other direction. And I'm in this for the long run, having made myself unemployable through a need for diversification. Moreover, what I've learned here has also elided into other areas, including real estate and ex-U.S. investment. Pretty cool. Have a great weekend.
I am not a user of phil's site now, but was for a couple years. His advice and information is excellent. Perhaps even better, you get access to real-time trades of additional traders on his site (OptTrader, etc) and the other members who post what they are buying and selling. Overall, its a very valuable information tool. Expensive, but paid for itself many times over. I did not renew my membership because I switched jobs and did not have time to trade nearly as much.
In its complaint, Allstate alleges the defendants "made numerous misrepresentations and omissions regarding the riskiness and credit quality" of the loans backing the securities sold as part of the transaction. JPMorgan Chase acquired Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual — along with the banks’ assets — back in 2008 when the housing meltdown hit. While both firms are technically defunct, each still has structured finance trading platforms unwinding.
Maiden Lane I is a $25.7 billion portfolio of Bear Stearns securities related to commercial and residential mortgages. JPMorgan refused to buy them when it acquired Bear Stearns to avert the firm’s bankruptcy.
The Fed’s losses included writing down the value of commercial-mortgage holdings by 28 percent to $5.6 billion and residential loans by 38 percent to $937 million as of Dec. 31, the central bank said. Properties in California and Florida accounted for 45 percent of outstanding principal of the residential mortgages.
On the key facts behind the bailouts of 2008, regulators have stonewalled the public, the press and even the inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. On Wednesday, we’ll find out if they can also stonewall the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
Chairman Phil Angelides and his panel will begin two days of hearings on the subject of "Too Big to Fail," featuring testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair. Across bailouts from Bear Stearns to AIG, the government has refused to release its analysis of the "systemic risks" that compelled it to mount unprecedented interventions into the financial system with taxpayer money. Two years after the crisis, Mr. Angelides and his colleagues should finally let the sun shine on this critical period of our economic history.
A year ago we told you about former FDIC official Vern McKinley, who has made a series of Freedom of Information Act requests. He wanted to know what Fed governors meant when they said a Bear Stearns failure would cause a "contagion." This term was used in the minutes of the Fed meeting at which the central bank discussed plans by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to finance Bear’s sale to J.P. Morgan Chase. The minutes contained no detail on how exactly the fall of Bear would destroy America.
He also requested minutes of the FDIC board meeting at which regulators approved financing for a Citigroup takeover of Wachovia. To provide this assistance, the board had to invoke the "systemic risk" exception in the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and it therefore had to assert that such assistance was necessary for the health of the financial system. Yet days later, Wachovia cut a better deal to sell itself to Wells Fargo, instead of Citi. So how necessary was the assistance?
The regulators have been giving Mr. McKinley the Heisman, but two weeks ago federal Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle made the FDIC show her the Wachovia documents. She is still…
Yesterday’s "paper" (more in the napkin sense than as a synonym for "intellectual effort") by Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder, which was nothing more than a glorified cover letter for selected perma-Keynesian posts in the administration’s Treserve complex, was so outright bad we did not feel compelled to even remotely comment on its (lack of any) substance. A man far smarter than us, Stanford’s John Taylor (the guy who says the Fed Fund rates should be -10%, not the guy who says the EURUSD should be -10), has taken the time to disassemble what passes for analysis by the tag team of a Princeton tenurist (odd how those always end up destroying the US economy when put in positions of power), and a Moody’s economist, who is undoubtedly casting a nervous eye every few minutes on the administration’s plans for EUCs and other jobless claims criteria. Below is his slaughter of dydactic duo’s demented drivel.
Yesterday the New York Times published an article about simulations of the effects of fiscal stimulus packages and financial interventions using an old Keynesian model. The simulations were reported in an unpublished working paper by Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi. I offered a short quote for the article saying simply that the reported results were completely different from my own empirical work on the policy responses to the crisis.
I have now had a chance to read the paper and have more to say. First, I do not think the paper tells us anything about the impact of these policies. It simply runs the policies through a model (Zandi’s model) and reports what the model says would happen. It does not look at what actually happened, and it does not look at other models, only Zandi’s own model. I have explained the defects with this type of exercise many times, most recently in testimony at a July 1, 2010 House Budget Committee hearing where Zandi also appeared. I showed that the results are entirely dependent on the model: old Keynesian models (such as Zandi’s model) show large effects and new Keynesian models show small effects. So there is nothing new in the fiscal stimulus part of this paper.
Even a win in the World Cup soccer tournament won’t save Europe. Nor will the G-20 meeting in Toronto this week. With Grecian urns, Irish eyes, Spanish flies, and Portuguese waterdogs all up to their eyeballs in debt, it’s only a matter of time before the whole venture implodes. Even after an almost trillion dollar bailout across Europe, Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded Greece’s debt from A3 to Ba1--junk bonds.
We’ve seen this movie before—in 2008, when it was banks, not countries, reeling out of economic control. Once you recognize this pattern—desperate nations behaving just as the desperate banks did—the next 12 months of news will all make sense. Here is a handy guide.
Greece is clearly Bear Stearns. They’ve taken on too much debt, used derivatives created by Goldman Sachs to put off payment well into the future, and aren’t generating enough tax revenue to pay for their bloated expenses. The cost of Greece’s debt financing is skyrocketing, now 8 percent higher than the benchmark German bund. Either Athens defaults, causing more firebombs to be tossed and even larger riots in the streets, or the European Union arranges a takeover by deep-pocketed Germany.
Germany is the JP Morgan of this story. It will provide a lowball 200 billion Euros to Greece and then end up paying 1000 billion, reminiscent of JP Morgan offering $2 and then paying $10 for Bear Stearns. Now wait a second, I can hear you complain, countries can’t merge like companies.
Of course they can, it happens all the time—though usually when tanks roll. Ask Poland. Or Hungary. In this case, Germany won’t legally own Greece, but in reality, it will absolutely be in charge of fixing Greece’s mess. My sense is the Germans will be quite good at tax collection and not so strong at dismantling the welfare state. But Greek debt will be resolved and maybe the Euro will even rally.
But it won’t be over quite yet. That’s because sadly, Spain is Lehman Brothers. With 22 percent unemployment, and loaded with debt and deteriorating real estate prices, who is going to save it? Tongues will wag that defaulting on debts will teach a lesson to countries that live beyond their means. As a huge exporter,…
Just a few brief comments on the market at the current levels. I was relatively optimistic about the equity markets coming into the beginning of the year. The themes that had dominated much of 2009 (better than expected earnings, accommodative Fed, continuing stimulus, etc) appeared to be largely intact. To my surprise, the rally ran a bit farther than I expected, but Greece and the downturn in China were game changers in my opinion. I was a few weeks early to lay my short positions, but the market ultimately came around to my thinking (better to be lucky than good). Where are we now? In my opinion, we have a global economy that ispre-Greece and a global economy that is post-Greece. The dominoes appear to be lining up in an eerie fashion at this point in time – there are now dozens of negative catalysts in the coming 12 months (which I will detail in a soon to be released report). Although the markets are once again oversold and at risk of a bounce the fundamentals are quickly deteriorating and my expectation of a weak second half appears to be right on cue. I would continue to approach this market with a great deal of caution despite the current oversold conditions.
What do the Germans know? This short selling ban is very desperate looking. I hate to speculate, but my gut tells me that they are beginning to realize how bad the situation is over there. They now understand that the problems in the Euro cannot be solved through intra-country debt issuance and bailouts. The short ban looks like one more act of desperation from a group of nations that have severely underestimated the problems they confront. Unfortunately, I still don’t think they’ve realized that this is a currency crisis and not a solvency crisis. That means they’ll continue to kick the can down the road and markets will battle with the turbulence. This truly does have a very Bear Stearns feel to it.
Will we scare ourselves into a double dip or even a second great depression? Everyone and their mother appears to be in the same camp regarding all the very scary “money printing”. I’ve never in my life heard the drumbeat so loud for fiscal austerity. In fact,
Check kiting is the illegal act of taking advantage of the float to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account. It is commonly defined as writing a check from one bank knowingly with non-sufficient funds, then writing a check to another bank, also with non-sufficient funds, in order to cover the absence. The purpose of check kiting is to falsely inflate the balance of a checking account in order to allow checks that have been written that would otherwise bounce to clear.
From July 2004 through September 2008, Lawrence G. McDonald was a Vice President of Distressed Debt and Convertible Securities Trading at Lehman Brothers (LEHMQ.PK). He is now a Managing Director at Pangea Capital Management LP. Lawrence is most famous as author of the best selling book "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: the Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers".
MacDonald, in an article at The Huffington Post entitled "The Geithner Deception", lays major blame for the financial collapse of 2008 at the feet of now Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 through 2008 as the credit bubble expanded and exploded into crisis.
Unsettled Derivatives Trades
McDonald’s premise is that a major reason for the collapse of Lehman and, very quickly, the world’s financial structure, was unsettled derivative trades. The most notorious of these were known as CDS (credit default swaps) which amounted to guarantees by a seller to make payment to the buyer should there be a credit default by a third party. We’ll come back to discuss CDSs further in the next section.
But first, let’s complete the picture so well laid out by Lawrence McDonald. He compares the operation of CDS trades to those in a regulated market, such as the stock exchanges or regulated derivative markets such as the CBOE (The Chicago Board of Options Exchange). When trades are made in those markets, the buyer must deliver payment by the settlement date or the trade is cancelled. In the case of stocks, settlement is required within three days.
McDonald says the problem became blatantly evident to Geithner in…
Marshall Auerback was on BNN’s SqueezePlay yesterday talking about the crisis in Greece (this time without his banker’s pinstriped suit – but we all know he’s a fund manager anyway!). He made some interesting comments about currencies I wanted to run by you.
Greece is the Bear Stearns of sovereign debtors
I know you have already seen comments from me, Marc, Claus, and the other Edward on Greece today. But this is a very big deal. Marshall calls it the Bear Stearns event in the sovereign debt crisis, a line he got from me. Here’s the thinking:
It reminds me a little of the subprime crisis. When it engulfed Bear Stearns, policy makers stepped in with bailout money. The immediate problem of Bear Stearns’ collapse was solved, but the systemic issues remained. Yet, recklessly, policy makers did almost nothing in the few months afterwards to deal with those issues. This was a crucial error given that people like me were warning of impending calamity. I was mystified (see comments at the end of my Swedish crisis post). The Minsky moment came and policy makers missed it entirely.
In fact, many were incensed because they thought Bear should have failed. So when Lehman came around, it did fail. And we all know how that turned out.
So, here we are again. The sovereign debt crisis has been building for three months now – ever since Dubai Worldannounced it wanted to default on its loans. In my view, we have now reached a critical juncture. If Greece is allowed to default, all hell will break lose. On the other hand, Greece has run a deficit for years. It’s ‘cheated’ to meet the standards set forth in its previously agreed-to treaties and it is unwilling to take austerity measures that Ireland, faced with similar circumstances, has taken. What should the EU do?
The dilemma is this: how do you eliminate moral hazard for perceived free riders while still credibly safeguarding against the destruction and contagion that a Eurozone sovereign default would create?
"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays…
We are beginning to abandon our tolerance of the abuse of power by those who betray for profit the elementary decencies of life. In this process evil things formerly accepted will not be so easily condoned…"
Franklin D Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 1937
The hubris associated with the trading crowd is peaking, and heading for a fall that could be a terrific surprise. It seems to be reaching a peak, trading now in a kind of euphoria.
I had a conversation this morning with a trader that I have known from the 1990′s, which is a lifetime in this business. I have to admit that he is successful, moreso than any of the popular retail advisory services you might follow such as Elliott Wave, for example, which he views with contempt. He is a little bit of an insider, and knows the markets and what makes them tick.
He likes to pick my brain on some topics that he understands much less, such as the currency markets and monetary developments, and sometimes weaves them into his commentary, always without attribution. He has been a dollar bull forever, and his worst trading is in the metals. He likes to short gold and silver on principle, and always seems to lose because he rarely honors his first stop loss, which is a shocking lapse in trading discipline.
His tone was ebullient. The Street has won, it owns the markets. They can take it up, and take it down, and make money on both sides, any side, of any market move. I have to admit that in the last quarter his trading results are impeccable.
We diverged into the dollar, which he typically views as unbeatable, with the US dominating the international financial system forever. He likes to ask questions about formal economic terms and relationships, or monetary systems and policy. He
Please play this must-see video by Alan Grayson explaining in great detail exactly why the Federal Reserve does not want to be audited, and thus why it absolutely needs to be audited.
"Let’s find out once and for all who owns the hotels, who owns the houses, and let’s try and put this wild beast that creates money out of nothing and jams it in the pockets of special interests like Maiden Lane, like Bear Stearns, like JPMorgan, like all their friends. Let’s put them under some degree of restraint before it all comes crashing down, on us."
In what may be the second vehicle-based terrorist attack in Germany in as many months, moments ago the AP and local press reported that according to German police a man rammed his car into a pedestrian area in a central square in the city of Heidelberg, injuring three people, then fled armed with a knife, and was subsequently shot after being tracked down by officers.
Police spokesperson Anne Baas said one of the three people hit outside a bakery on Saturday afternoon was seriously injur...
Notes from Charlie Munger’s annual meeting at the Daily Journal are making the rounds. This parody, from a few years back, was too good not to share again. “One thing about doing something dumb is that you’re unlikely to do it again.”
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Consecutive gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have left it at the doorstep of history, including a 20 percent surge in futures from the early hours of Nov. 9 that could be loosely framed as the president’s own bull market.
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These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:
….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...
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